With a No. 1 seed comes great responsibility, but the United States’ talented quartet is ready to fit the bill as the International Crown’s top-ranked team.
The only team with three players who have double-digit career wins, the U.S. will have a big target on its back July 24-27 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. Stacy Lewis, the world’s No. 1 player, leads the way, with 16-time LPGA champ Cristie Kerr, 10-time winner Paula Creamer and Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Lexi Thompson filling out the lineup.
All four players have considerable Solheim Cup experience, and that, coupled with their overall talent, will make them a force to be reckoned with next week. Lewis is 2-5-1 in two Solheim Cup appearances, seven-time Solheim Cup participant Kerr holds an 12-14-4 all-time record, Creamer is 12-6-5 in five appearances in the biennial, trans-Atlantic event, and Thompson went 1-2 in her first appearance last year.
Lewis, the Tour’s only three-time winner in 2014 heading into this weekend, has been frustrated by her two Solheim Cup experiences – both losses – so, she will be bound and determined to make sure the International Crown is a different experience. She has put together a stellar 2014 campaign, with 13 top-10s in 16 starts, and will be looked upon as a pace-setter for Team USA.
Kerr and Creamer bring invaluable match play experience to next week’s event, and their 26 combined LPGA Tour wins make them a formidable tandem to watch out for. Thompson has struggled lately with her game, but has four top-10 finishes since her major victory in March and could be deadly if her putter gets hot.
The United States has been better at foursomes than four-ball play in past Solheim Cups, so they will need to improve on the latter for the International Crown, which features three days of four-ball matches before singles on Sunday.
The team will be without the services of two-time 2014 champion and world No. 6 Michelle Wie, who was not one of Team USA’s top four-ranked players at the qualification deadline of March 31. She has been part of a U.S. resurgence, with U.S.-born players winning 11 of the first 17 tournaments on the 2014 calendar.
Lewis has won three, while Creamer and Thompson have one apiece. Kerr has not won on Tour yet, but headed into this week ranked ninth on the money list thanks to eight top-10s.
That resurgence allowed the U.S. to overtake the Republic of Korea for the top seeding. The U.S. begins play on Thursday against eighth-seeded Chinese Taipei, follows that with two four-ball matches against No. 5 Spain on Friday and ends pool play against fourth-seeded Thailand on Saturday.
Topics: International Crown